18 Apr 2011

Legal aid changes seen as unfair to youth lawyers

9:27 am on 18 April 2011

The Law Society says youth lawyers are being unfairly targeted in legal aid changes by the Government.

The Government has announced a range of reforms, including making youth lawyers meet criteria which is usually used by legal aid lawyers.

It says the changes are necessary to manage legal aid spending and to ensure funding is given only to high quality legal services.

But the Law Society says the youth justice system does not have the same systemic issues that the legal aid system has.

Youth justice committee convenor Mike Gardam says youth lawyers and courts should not be distorted without careful thought.

Mr Gardam says the society is talking to the Ministry of Justice about its concerns.